Moving to a New City? Don’t Forget About Your New Cost of Living

Sometimes part of the fun of landing a new job is that you get to live in a new city – perhaps even on the other side of the country. There are some important factors to consider, however, before deciding to uproot your life for a new gig in a foreign land. For example, moving oftentimes comes with a new cost of living. Your current salary may go further, but there is the chance your salary wouldn’t “stretch” quite as far depending on where your new stomping ground ends up being.

We used Salary.com’s Cost-of-living Wizard to determine what it would mean for your financial health if you moved to a new city after previously earning $60,000/year. Here’s what we found:

1) New York, NY →  San Diego, CA

The breakdown:

The cost of living in San Diego is 27.5% lower than in New York. Therefore, you would have to earn a salary of at least $43,473 to maintain your current standard of living. Employers in San Diego, CA typically pay 11.0% less than employers in New York, NY. Therefore, if you take the same type of job in the same type of company in San Diego you are likely to earn $53,420. 

Dollar amount of net change in disposable income: $9,948

Percentage change in money compared to cost of living at home: -27.50%

Percentage change in money for typical salary at work: -11%

2) New York, NY  Los Angeles, CA

The breakdown:

The cost of living in Los Angeles is 20.8% lower than in New York. Therefore, you would have to earn a salary of $47,523 to maintain your current standard of living. Employers in Los Angeles typically pay 6.5% less than employers in New York. Therefore, if you take the same type of job in the same type of company in Los Angeles you are likely to earn $56,103.

Dollar amount of net change in disposable income: $8,580

Percentage change in money compared to cost of living at home: -20.80%

Percentage change in money for typical salary at work: -6.50%

3) New York, NY  San Francisco, CA

The cost of living in San Francisco is 2.9% higher than in New York. Therefore, you would have to earn a salary of $61,733 to maintain your current standard of living. Employers in San Francisco typically pay 3.3% more than employers in New York. Therefore, if you take the same type of job in the same type of company in San Francisco you are likely to earn $61,962.

Dollar amount of net change in disposable income: $230

Percentage change in money compared to cost of living at home: 2.90%

Percentage change in money for typical salary at work: 3.30%

4) Boston, MA  Portland, OR

The breakdown:  

The cost of living in Portland is 27.5% lower than in Boston. Therefore, you would have to earn a salary of $43,525 to maintain your current standard of living. Employers in Portland typically pay 7.7% less than employers in Boston, MA. Therefore, if you take the same type of job in the same type of company in Portland you are likely to earn $55,385.

Dollar amount of net change in disposable income: +$11,860

Percentage change in money compared to cost of living at home: -27.50%

Percentage change in money for typical salary at work: -7.70% 

5) Philadelphia, PA  San Jose, CA

The cost of living in San Jose is 45.9% higher than in Philadelphia. Therefore, you would have to earn a salary of $87,530 to maintain your current standard of living. Employers in San Jose typically pay 11.3% more than employers in Philadelphia. Therefore, if you take the same type of job in the same type of company in San Jose you are likely to earn $66,758.

Dollar amount of net change in disposable income: $20,772

Percentage change in money compared to cost of living at home: 45.90%

Percentage change in money for typical salary at work: +11.30%

6) Providence, RI  Seattle, WA

The cost of living in Seattle is 32.2% higher than in Providence. Therefore, you would have to earn a salary of $79,322 to maintain your current standard of living. Employers in Seattle typically pay 3.3% more than employers in Providence. Therefore, if you take the same type of job in the same type of company in Seattle you are likely to earn $61,983.

Dollar amount of net change in disposable income: $17,339

Percentage change in money compared to cost of living at home: 32.20%

Percentage change in money for typical salary at work: 3.30%

7) Hartford, CT Los Angeles, CA

The cost of living in Los Angeles is 34.1% higher than in Hartford. Therefore, you would have to earn a salary of $80,445 to maintain your current standard of living. Employers in Los Angeles typically pay 4.2% more than employers in Hartford. Therefore, if you take the same type of job in the same type of company in Los Angeles you are likely to earn $62,527.

Dollar amount of net change in disposable income: $17,917

Percentage change in money compared to cost of living at home: 34.10%

Percentage change in money for typical salary at work: 4.20%

8) Portland  Phoenix, AZ

 The cost of living in Phoenix, AZ is 11.3% lower than in Portland. Therefore, you would have to earn a salary of $53,217 to maintain your current standard of living. Employers in Phoenix typically pay 1.9% less than employers in Portland. Therefore, if you take the same type of job in the same type of company in Phoenix you are likely to earn $58,881.

Dollar amount of net change in disposable income: $5,664

Percentage change in money compared to cost of living at home: -11.30%

Percentage change in money for typical salary at work: -1.90%

9) Portland, ME → San Antonio, TX

The cost of living in San Antonio is 19.8% lower than in Portland. Therefore, you would have to earn a salary of $48,104 to maintain your current standard of living. Employers in San Antonio typically pay 3.3% less than employers in Portland. Therefore, if you take the same type of job in the same type of company in San Antonio you are likely to earn $58,027.

Dollar amount of net change in disposable income: $9,923

Percentage change in money compared to cost of living at home: -19.80%

Percentage change in money for typical salary at work: -3.30%


Looking for a new job on a new coast? First, find out your worth.

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